10 November 2022

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT: Universities, Centres of Excellence

Hon. MAJ SCANLON (Gaven—ALP) (Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef
and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs) (10.03 am):

Our scientists are among the best in the world across a range of disciplines including the environment, health, Indigenous knowledge and biotechnology. I am proud to announce that our excellence has been once again recognised, with Queensland universities being extremely successful in receiving significant funding from the federal government’s latest Australian Research Council grants. In fact, UQ was awarded three projects—more than any other university in the country.


Universities from the Sunshine State have attracted $140 million to establish four new centres of
excellence in Queensland to deliver important research and training. These hubs will support
Queensland scientists as they dive into diverse subject areas from the use of Indigenous knowledge in
research to quantum technology and innovations in the use of carbon dioxide. We have been able to
do that because of this government’s ongoing support for the science sector, making our universities
attractive to vital research funding. In fact, the Palaszczuk government will support these Queensland
centres of excellence with $1.65 million in funding and over $350,000 of in-kind contributions.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Green Electrochemical Transformation for Carbon Dioxide,
led by the University of Queensland, will develop new manufacturing businesses for Australia, aligning
with our net zero emissions target and goal for a stronger circular and sustainable economy and the
creation of future jobs. The ARC Centre of Excellence in Quantum Biotechnology will develop new
quantum technologies like portable brain images and superfast single protein sensors. This technology
will help unravel key problems including how enzymes catalyse reactions and how higher brain function
emerges from networks of neurons.

The James Cook University-led Indigenous ARC Centre of Excellence for Indigenous
Environmental Histories and Futures will produce and generate knowledge based on Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander led approaches and outcomes focused on sustainable Indigenous land and sea
management planning for future decades. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Futures, led
by UQ, will examine and improve the life chances of Indigenous Australians by utilising Indigenous

Queensland’s huge Energy and Jobs Plan, coupled with significant investment in science and
innovation in our latest budget, has put the Sunshine State in a leading place when it comes to scientific
research, major breakthroughs in fields like health, and the benefits of good jobs and better services
that come with it. These centres of excellence are exactly what the Palaszczuk government wants to
support, with $17 million in our budget to commercialise scientific research and attract even more
Commonwealth research and development funding. The Palaszczuk government will continue to fund
and support science throughout the state and work with the new federal government to get more funding
into the sector after the coalition cut university funding by 10 per cent. Only Labor governments back
and believe in science.